Sewer connections in Dexter Township

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Three proposed projects saw their requests to connect to the Multi Lake sewer district approved at the last Dexter Township Board meeting, held virtually on January 19.

The Dexter Township Board approved the requests made by the LaFontaine Group, Charles Piatt and Guenther Building to be included into the sewer district.

The requests come to the township board because it needs to give its approval in order for the district to expand within Dexter Township.

According to its website, the Multi Lake Water and Sewer Authority (MLWSA) is a Michigan Municipal Authority formed in 1994 and its primary function is to provide sanitary sewer collection services and waste water treatment for portions of four townships located in the counties of Washtenaw and Livingston, which includes Dexter Township, Lyndon Township, Putnam Township and Unadilla Township.

In voting on the requests, Dexter Township Board trustee Jim Drolett was the lone no vote against approving the LaFontaine and Guenther Building requests. However, he did vote yes for the Piatt request. 

He expressed some concerns, including that two of the locations might be going against what he said was the original intent of the sewer district and that was to service the lake areas in the townships. He also said he thinks about future development and asked how much more can the current system, specifically with a high water table at the plant, take on before more money needs to be put into it, and then asked what that might mean for the longtime users of the system.

Township board trustee Karen Nolte, who is a township liaison on the Multi Lake board, said the system’s current capacity is actually low and that it could use more customers connected to it in order for it to run better and more efficiently.

As support for this, a letter from Kathleen Root, director of the Multi Lake Water and Sewer Authority, said there is enough capacity to accommodate all three requests.

In its request, the LaFontaine Group said as part of its site development process, they learned that their location has challenges with the existing septic system age, location and capacity and that there is a sanitary sewer main that runs along North Territorial parallel to their property. For these reasons, LaFontaine said they are requesting to add this location into the sewer district and noted with access, it would allow them to do additional screening and landscaping along Territorial.

LaFontaine wants to convert their site, at 11485 North Territorial Road, into a commercial truck sales location.

The Piatt proposal is located at 8787 Glenwood Drive, near Silver Lake. Drolett said yes to this request because of its location.

In his request to the board, Piatt said he plans on building one home on the property that is just under 10 acres and 300 feet from the lake, and is adjacent to other properties that are in the district.

The third request was from the RSG Development Corp. /Doletzky Open Space Project, which is at 11677 N. Territorial Road. This request wants to connect 53 residential sewer connections in the development proposed to go in near the southwest corner of Dexter Townhall and N. Territorial roads.

The township board members who approved these requests said connecting to the system, specifically the Doletzky Open Space Project, is probably better for the environment rather than having individual septic fields. 

Michelle Stamboulellis, township clerk, said she was torn about the requests because she sees the value in connecting these locations to the system as opposed to having individual septic fields, but she's also concerned about over development in the township. 

In the end, it was noted that future development and being good stewards of the land is important and toward this the board will be looking to create an Open Space and Farm Preservation Committee as a way to address this. 

However, it was also cited that these projects have been in the planning process for some time (prior to the new board) and that the requests were not about development, but rather what's the best way forward for a septic plan as it pertains to these planned developments. 

As for next steps, the Doletzky and Lafontaine projects will go before the township’s planning commission for review.

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